The cream of society

I’ve mentioned ice cream vans and milk floats on the blog before. I’m quite interested in that lost delivery and van sales thing – chip vans, mobile shops, bakers vans – but there seems to be precious little local material about. I’m inviting contributions from anyone who has anything to please get in touch, as I fear we’re in danger of losing this stuff if we’re not too careful. The menu cards from vans and freezers, for example – they brought memories flooding back – but who on earth would think to save them?

All images link to the originals in the Flickr galleries they’re from. Please do click on them and have a browse – Lady Wulfrun is a new face here on pictures from the past, and she’s got some incredible stuff there. I thank profusely all the photographers involved.

If you have anything, please comment here or contact me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Unigate door-to-door milk deliveries in Willenhall.

Unigate were a huge brand in the UK at one time. This float pictured in 1987 by Lady Wulfrun, from her Flickr photostream.


I'm pleased to have found this image of a vintage ice cream van advertising menu card. Although a tad before my time, I remember many of the names. Not sure they

Old ice cream van Walsall (2)

A deceptive, out of time photo tshowing a vintage van, but taken at some time in the 1990's in Walsall. I would estimate about 1994, as it seems to be immediately post-pedestrianisation of The Bridge. Another cracking picture by Walsall1955, from his Flickr photostream.

Memories of Midland Road Dairy, Walsall

The Co-op also operated milk rounds, and were probably Unigate's biggest local competitor. This onte pictured in 1986 by Lady Wulfrun, from her Flickr photostream.

Retro Ice Lollys

Another cracking piece of childhood ephemera. I'd quite forgotten Haunted House lollies, Mivvi's and Apple Jacks. A remarkable piece of work by The Moog Image Dump, from their Flickr photostream.

Old ice cream van Walsall (4)

Again, not sure when this one was taken. It's an old van, but that's the Bridge in Walsall, before it was repaved. Early nineties? Image by Walsall1955, from his Flickr photostream.

Christmas 1986

This one caught my eye, I thought the image was far older than it is. It's a 1950's float that was still being operated by the Midland Road dairy in Walsall, captured by Lady Wulfrun, from her Flickr photostream.


Believe it or not, I couldn't find a better image anywhere of seventies Wall's van. They all had the same, distintive chime, and were occasionally disappointing because they didn't do 99's or proper cones. Picture by Mr. Whippy, from his Flickr photostream.

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4 Responses to The cream of society

  1. Linda Mason says:

    Everything was delivered way back, wasn’t it? Made for a much more colourful street life than we have now. There was the Corona pop lorry for the children and Davenports beer for the adults. My personal favourite was the mobile fish and chip van but there was also the fresh fish man on Fridays (presumably something to do with eating fish on Fridays) the grocery van, the baker, the coalman. Add to these the rag and bone man and the fact that there were always hundreds of children out on the streets and it was a much more vibrant street than we know today.

    • That’s very true. Very fond memories of the chip vans and mobile shops. And you’re right about the loss of kids on the streets. Too quiet in many ways today,

      Best wishes


  2. Graeme Fisher says:

    I have a particulaly distant memory of pale green fish and chip vans based in Lindon Road in the 60s and 70s, near Neville’s barber shop. Must have been near Clayhanger Road?

  3. Clive says:

    Hello Graeme, the chipvans where down the side of the ladys hairdressers, about three houses down from nevilles hairdressers. I think they may still be doing some ot the rounds from there!

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